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Monday, December 10, 2007

The Big Reveal

We had an amazing time in Chicago this past weekend... when we finally all arrived in Chicago. Mom and Dad flew into O'Hare on Thursday and spent Thursday night there. Todd and I left Columbia to drive to the airport in Charlotte at 2:00 a.m. on Friday for our 6:00 a.m. flight. We were in Chicago by 7:05 a.m. and at the Fairmont by 8:00 a.m. We all had breakfast together and then went out to brave the wind and cold. While it was cold, it really helps when you have the right garments to protect yourself. Walker and Lauren were delayed and didn't arrive in Chicago until around 8:00 on Friday night. While Mom and Dad went to a black tie event for the event my dad was attending, Walker, Lauren, Todd, and I entertained one of our brother/sister traditions and dined (painfully) at Ed Debevic's. We realized, once again, what a small world it is as our waiter turned out to be a guy that came to Youth for Christ meetings with Walker at our house in Indiana. After Walker successfully offended a small boy and his parents, we left the restaurant and called it a night.

On Saturday morning, we decided that it was a "Ferris Bueller day" and Lauren needed to experience some of the more famous destinations in Chicago. We didn't have time to do everything that Ferris, Cameron, and Sloan Peterson did, but we purchased tickets to the Sears Tower from our hotel concierge and were at the top of the United States (formerly the top of the world) by 10:00 a.m. We decided to mark the occasion (and make my dad laugh) by taking this picture titled, "I Think I See My Dad."

We ate lunch at a family favorite, Tucchi Benucch, and then got Lauren to take our Christmas card picture. Unfortunately, Lauren discovered that she was too short to get a good eye level picture, so we had to turn the camera over to Todd. That's a lot of pressure on Todd, but I think we came up with a few good options.

We went to the RedHeaded Piano Bar on Saturday night to listen to some great music and do a lot of people watching with the Chicago locals. Chicago is definitely my favorite city. The people are so interesting and have such a distinctive culture.

Mom and Dad flew out of Chicago early on Sunday morning. Before Todd and I left for the airport, we went to the West Egg Cafe with Walker and Lauren for breakfast. We had quite the wait, but it was worth it. We found a way to entertain ourselves while we waited.

I think Todd has discovered what heaven tastes like in the West Egg Cafe's Blue Shew pancakes... full of blueberries and cashews. I was happy to see eggs and andouille sausage on the menu. I think we can confidently add the West Egg Cafe to our Chicago favorites.

When we arrived late last night in Charlotte it was a disappointing 80 degrees! It definitely doesn't feel like Christmas around here, so I'm very thankful to have spent some time near snow and freezing temperatures. Here's the official Christmas card picture (unless we come up with something better later).

It was so great to be with my family (and our significant others) in Chicago. I love this time of year and all of the excitement it brings. We lined up our moving date for December 29 and we'll be leaving for Dallas on December 21 and December 22. It really is a wonderful time of year!